State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said today that Georgia broke the 4.5- million jobs barrier in October, bouncing back from a job loss due to Hurricane Irma in September.
The state posted 4,510,100 jobs for the month. That preliminary number is higher than Georgia’s previous revised record of 4,497,700 set in August. In September, Georgia had a temporary setback with a job loss of 3,400.
Georgia also set records in October for labor force and the number of employed residents.
“After the effects of the storm, this month’s numbers are much closer to what we are used to seeing,” Butler said. “All the indicators – job growth, unemployment claims, labor force and employed residents – are trending in the right direction. October was a great month for a dynamic, growing state like Georgia.”
Monthly numbers can fluctuate due to short-term impacts like Irma and are subject to revisions. The story built over the year, Butler said, gives a clearer picture of the state’s economy and jobs picture because it smooths out short-term shifts seen in monthly reports.
Over the past 12 months, Georgia has added 87,800 jobs, a 2 percent growth rate. The state is outpacing the national job growth rate of 1.4 percent.
In October Georgia posted 15,800 new jobs. Growth came mostly in the private sector including, construction, 5,500 and professional and business services, 5,200. Georgia’s over-the-year job growth came mostly in the private sector. Jobs were added in professional and business services, 24,900; education and health services, 15,300; leisure and hospitality, 14,500; and trade, transportation and warehousing, 11,700.
“It’s important that Georgia is adding jobs,” Butler noted, “but it’s more important that people continue to get them. And, we continue to see both happening.”
In October, the total number of employed residents rose by 20,634 to 4,865,859. There are 173,402 more Georgians employed now than in October 2016.
At the same time, the state’s labor force, which includes the total number of Georgians with jobs and those unemployed but looking for work, rose to 5,085,519, up by 15,123 in October. The labor force is up by 123,441 since October 2016.
Butler added that the unemployment rate also continues to fall.
The unemployment rate in October was 4.3 percent, down from September’s revised number of 4.4 percent. That compares favorably to last October when the rate was 5.4 percent. The lowest jobless rate ever recorded for the state was 3.4 percent in November 2000.
Monthly unemployment claims were up by 9.6 percent to 27,040. Most of the increase came due to temporary claims filed in manufacturing. However, from October a year ago, unemployment claims were down by 7.9 percent from 29,355.